Allison Transmission to supply electric Dakar truck effort

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Allison Transmission has announced a three-year partnership agreement with Team de Rooy, multiple winner of the Dakar Rally, to help develop electrically powered trucks for Dakar and other events. Testing is scheduled to begin on an electrified truck with a conventional Allison transmission in early 2022, ahead of the vehicle’s competition debut at the Dakar Rally in January 2023.

“Dakar and other rally raids are really tough on mechanical components, especially the suspension, axles and gearbox. On hard surfaces, severe vibrations go through the whole driveline and consequently through the entire rally truck, hour after hour, causing damage. On loose sand, traditional clutch-operated transmissions limit traction at low speeds. That’s why our team switched in 2018 to an Allison fully automatic transmission. Knowing how effective and robust Allison’s transmissions are, it is great to have the company’s support with our plans to go electric,” said Gerard de Rooy, managing director of De Rooy Transport and owner of the truck rally team, Team De Rooy. De Rooy won Dakar, as both team owner and driver, in 2012 and 2016.

Team de Rooy’s new Iveco electrified truck will use Allison’s 4000 Series fully automatic transmission with retarder. One of the claimed advantages of the transmission is its use of the company’s patented torque converter, which multiplies torque at launch. This will enable the electric rally raid truck to utilize a smaller and less powerful drive motor to optimize range and efficiency, and to perform well when powering up dunes.

Another noted advantage is the dampening effect of the fluid coupling in the converter, which helps protect the truck’s drive motor from shock loading associated with torsional forces in the driveline. A further benefit is made possible by self-learning algorithms in the transmission controller, which continually optimize engine speed and torque level. This helps maximize efficiency and minimize energy use in electric motors.

While the new electric truck is under development, Team de Rooy will enter the 2022 Dakar Rally with diesel-powered Iveco trucks equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions, supplied and supported by Drive Line Systems (DLS), the official Allison authorized distributor for the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Iceland and Turkey.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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